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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment

Study tour to London

The MRes cohort and the Course Director visited London on a study tour on 25 March. On this tour we visited completed buildings, thus providing a counterpart to our earlier site visits in Cambridge where we saw buildings at various stages of construction.


Our tour in London began with a visit to Broadgate Exchange House above the rail tracks that enter London Liverpool Street station. The structural and geotechnical design of this building featured in our core module on Civil Engineering Theory and in the coursework for that module so this was an opportunity to see the actual building. The financial district of the City of London provided plenty of opportunity to see various buildings at work, from 30 St Mary Axe (“the Gherkin”) to the Leadenhall Building and Lloyds Building.

We moved from the new to the old with a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral, famous not only for its architecture but also for its innovative engineering and an early example of scientific and mathematical principles being used in a building. Crossing the Thames on the nearby Millennium Bridge emphasised how the same principles as used in the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral apply to innovative suspension bridges.

A short walk along the south bank of the Thames brought us to The Shard, the tallest building in the UK. The immense height of The Shard could be appreciated from below and it provided us with another example of a building system.